Pitfalls of Writing Climate Change

Part 1

Presented by Claire Datnow at the Alabama Writers Cooperative Centennial Conference September 8-10, 2023
AWC presentation 2023
What Defines Climate Fiction or Cli-Fi?
Climate fiction or cli-fi weaves the theme of climate change into the story.
  • * Generally speculative in nature but inspired by climate science. It may take place in the world as we know it, in the near future, or in fictional worlds experiencing
  • climate change.
  • Why Write Stories About Climate Change?

    AWC presentation Whale

    • Climate Fiction or Cli-Fi has never been more relevant. The United Nations has called Climate Change ‘The defining Crisis of Our Time.
    • Climate fiction is a growing genre opening up new opportunities for writers.
    • People, especially young people, need to see adults are engaging in solutions. There is a massive amount of positive climate action taking place right now. And the opportunities to take part in the action. 
    • But the theme of climate change can be overwhelming.
    Climate Fiction Genre and Styles Often described as a sub-genre of science fiction, this specific brand of literature often involves dystopian or utopian themes. Climate fiction is often speculative: plays with the idea of how humanity will deal with a climate disaster in a world similar to our own, or in the near future. It includes technology that has been built in order to combat climate change, the disintegration of our technological advancements as a consequence to climate change or both.
    * Popular genres: *
    crime, fantasy, romance, horror, science fiction, Western, dystopian, utopian speculative, magical realism.
    Punk Genres: Solarpunk, hopepunk, cyberpunk, steampunk, realism, magical realism, speculative, fantasy, sometimes mixed with realism.
    • What ever genre or style you choose:
    • Do not Sugarcoat the truth, but make it positive, hopeful, to ignite the imaginations of young and old alike, and to spur unity and action in the face of great challenges
    • . Show solutions.
    • Explore how to approach the climate emergency with impactful innovative writing, intellectually and emotionally.
    • Show the results for our failures to act sooner. Some things will be lost; much already has been.Apocalypses let us off the hook: What’s the point of trying if the Earth is doomed?

    How to Unlock the Stories we Need to Tell ? Part 2

    • Tools for writing impactful innovative Cl-Fi?